Rugby ATL drafted Mike Matarazzo with the 8th selection in the first-round or the Major League Rugby Collegiate Draft. The -22-year-old lock/No.8 is 6’5″ and 230 lbs.
He attended the University of Notre Dame in 2016 and was introduced to rugby. His athletic ability, work ethic, and leadership qualities contributed to his rapid development in the sport of rugby. Following his Sophomore year, Mike was named an Honorable Mention All American, served as team captain his junior and senior seasons, and was the Club President his senior year. He will be the first Notre Dame graduate to play professionally in the United States league, with Nick Civetta, class of 2011, the team’s first professional, who played first in Italy and currently in France, as well as with the USA National Team.
Scott Lawrence, Head Coach of Rugby ATL after drafting Mike, “We couldn’t be more delighted with our very first draft pick. Mike exemplifies exactly what we’re looking to develop on and off the field.” Coach Hickey on Mike’s selection, “I’m incredibly proud of Mike! Rugby ATL is getting an outstanding athlete and an even better young man. Coach Lawrence and his staff are world-class, and there are few environments in the United States as well equipped to continue to further Mike’s growth and development, both on and off the field than what they’ve established in Atlanta.”
Prior to the 2021 Major League Rugby season, Mike will compete for Durham University of England, where he accepted a scholarship for his graduate studies. This will provide Mike a great opportunity to develop ahead of the next MLR season, and continue his academic career before joining Rugby ATL full-time next spring.